Charles Eden (politician)

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Charles Eden
2nd Governor of the Colony of North Carolina
In office
Preceded by Edward Hyde
Succeeded by William Reed
Personal details
Born 1673
Died 1722
Bertie County, North Carolina
Political party None
Spouse(s) Penelope Golland

Charles Eden (1673 – 26 March 1722) was the second Governor of the separate Colony of North Carolina.

Public service[edit]

Eden was appointed Governor of North Carolina on 13 July 1713. He is best known for his actions to end piracy in the area. Gentleman pirate Stede Bonnet and the notorious Blackbeard (Edward Teach) surrendered to Governor Eden and received the King's Pardon upon promising to change their ways. Both, however, would eventually return to piracy.

In 1719 prominent North Carolinian Edward Moseley accused Governor Eden of profiting from Blackbeard's crimes. Moseley was arrested and fined for his accusations. Eden presented an account of his dealings with Blackbeard to the provincial council, which accepted his pleas of innocence. Nevertheless, Eden's reputation has long been clouded by his connections to Blackbeard.

Governor Eden died of yellow fever in Bertie County in 1722 at the age of 48. Edenton, North Carolina is named for him. His remains were later reinterred in the churchyard of St. Paul's Episcopal Church at Edenton.[1]

Film depictions[edit]

Governor Eden was featured as a character in the Hallmark Entertainment mini series Blackbeard, portrayed by Richard Chamberlain. However, the film takes severe dramatic license, portraying Eden as the governor of New Providence, the island which is now the capital of the Bahamas, as opposed to his real occupation as Governor of North Carolina. The film also puts heavy emphasis on the fact that Eden engaged in illegal trade with Blackbeard (which is true), but the film also claims he conspired with colonial secretary Tobias Knight to arrange the murder of Eden's stepdaughter in order to claim her inheritance, which is debatable.


Eden's daughter Penelope married Gabriel Johnston, the colonial governor of North Carolina from 1734 to 1752. His great-grandson through that marriage was Congressman William Johnston Dawson.


  1. ^ Elizabeth Van Hoore and Catherine Cockshutt (February 1975). "St. Paul's Episcopal Church and Churchyard" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Hyde
Colonial Governor of North Carolina
Succeeded by
William Reed